Pre-pandemic, the travel and tourism industry in Canada was worth $105 billion in total economic activity and 1.8 million jobs. Post-pandemic, the industry is facing a myriad of issues. The great resignation shifted priorities and availabilities in the labour force, increased travel screening and restrictions create a more arduous travel journey, and customers are itching to explore the places they were cut off from during global lockdowns.
The industry is now in a unique position to work on tech integration and upgrades that will change the way we travel forever. Read on to learn about some of the top tech ideas that are shaping the future of travel.
New advancements take hold before we even leave the door. Fabric technology has been rapidly advancing, and new suitcases are coming out with installed charging ports, antimicrobial lining, and even built-in scooters. For frequent travellers, luggage options are expanding to help them better manage life on the go.
Not only is your luggage getting smart, but the way airports also scan and sort the luggage is getting more technical. Kilometres of conveyor belts costing millions, if not billions of dollars, are being installed worldwide to get your luggage around.
AI & Chatbots
Travel companies and hotels increasingly turn to artificial intelligence (AI) technology to streamline online bookings and deliver more tailored experiences. Aside from being available around the clock to assist customers, they can also arrange reservations, respond to frequently asked questions, process payments, and have natural-sounding dialogues.
AI solutions can also provide insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and interests in travel destinations, hotels, facilities, airlines, vehicle rental businesses, prices, and more, through machine learning. Travel agencies, airports, shuttle services, and hotels can use this information to show or send consumers the right offers at the right time.
Smartphones are today’s travellers’ ultimate resource. The ability to way find, book reservations and manage bookings, itineraries, to-do lists, and even boarding passes and security are slowly being moved onto the devices in most of our pockets.
The start of the pandemic made the general public noticeably aware of the amount of data they produce, and to what level of private data, specifically health and movement data, the public is willing to cede in the name of international travel.
Phones already come with a mobile wallet, with digital wallet usage up almost 30% over 2021. With the general adoption and implementation of blockchain technology, the future of boarding passes and more could exist solely in the digital world.
Internet of Things (IoT)
At the beginning of the pandemic, many travel and tourism companies embraced the IoT to help create safe experiences. The IoT is mainly being used to allow customers to control more aspects of their experiences from their phone or a central planning hub and can help companies create more personalized journeys for customers.
Companies have also looked to revamp and revolutionize their loyalty programs. Reshuffles of players in the industry and relatively limited access to international customers mean that companies need to find ways to activate local customers. The data and analytics provided by the IoT could be a great way to attract an under-targeted demographic of new customers.
Virtual Reality (VR)
While VR has been used in various industries, the tourist industry has benefited most from its use. Travellers are able to enjoy far-flung destinations from the safety of their own homes thanks to this technology, which can be the deciding factor in whether or not to book. Customers can go on virtual reality tours to check hotels and restaurants, explore landmarks and parks, or even try out activities.
Airports, Art, and cities are taking advantage of this blossoming technology to give the public innovative experiences wherever they are. Inspiring delight and wonder in cost-effective ways will set travel experiences apart.
Opportunities for Canadian Companies in Travel and Tourism
Canada’s travel industry maintained a consistent revenue stream before the pandemic and had done so for years. Millions of people visit each year to take in the country’s natural beauty, such as Niagara Falls and the Canadian Rockies.
Travel technology advancements give Canadian businesses a competitive advantage as they return to consumers’ lives and tourism picks up speed post-pandemic. They can take advantage of these business opportunities by making sure their website is mobile-ready. Tourists searching for things to do and see in a specific location are more likely to find their website if it appears in the top search results. Having a mobile-friendly website that puts important information (such as hours, location, and contact details) right on the front page is essential.
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